Safety-Kleen Corp. v. Van Hoy

In Safety-Kleen Corp. v. Van Hoy, 225 Va. 64, 70, 300 S.E.2d 750, 754 (1983), the employee, Van Hoy, like claimant, also successfully pursued a third-party action for injuries then subject of an award by the commission, and unilaterally released the tort-feasor. Upon learning of the settlement, INA, the carrier for employer Safety-Kleen, terminated benefits and applied for a hearing before the commission "on a change in condition." Safety-Kleen, 225 Va. at 66-67, 300 S.E.2d at 751. In response, Van Hoy filed a motion to reinstate the award. The commission "allowed INA credit for the net amount of the settlement by suspending payments under the award . . . until further payments that may be due thereunder exceeded" the net settlement. Id. However, the Supreme Court of Virginia reversed, reasoning that Van Hoy's conduct sufficiently prejudiced INA to justify termination of benefits. The Court recognized "Van Hoy might thereby enjoy in part of a double recovery, . . . retaining the payments already made by INA in addition to . . . the third-party settlement," but "expressed no opinion upon this aspect of the case, for we are granting the relief which Safety-Kleen and INA have sought." Id. at 71, 300 S.E.2d at 754.